Announcement Of Contract Tower Closings Could Come Friday
Senate leadership blocked Senator Jerry Moran’s (R-KS) (pictured) amendment from being considered on the Senate floor during debate on the Continuing Funding Resolution, which passed Wednesday. The Moran amendment sought to stop the FAA’s plans to shutter the contract tower program under the sequestration process.
In an update to its members, NATA reported that the Moran amendment had 26 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate (including 14 Democrats and 12 Republicans). NATA and other aviation organizations have all worked and advocated for a common sense approach to reducing federal spending under sequestration.
"The real issue here…is about the safety of Americans," Sen. Moran said during debate on the floor of the Senate Wednesday. "If it’s true that the reason this amendment is not being considered is because we want to prove a point that there is no money to be cut – that sequestration is a bad idea… then it’s a very dangerous way to try to prove a point."
"Prove your point in the argument and debate about the merits of spending…" Sen. Moran continued. "Prove your point in the Appropriations Committee where we take testimony and hear from people about…what has value and what doesn’t. But don’t try to make the political point… by reducing the safety of people who fly in and out of communities across the country. Once there is an accident, and somebody dies and a plane crashes, the question will always be ‘what if there had been an air traffic control tower there? What if we had left the program in place?"
The measure still has to pass the House, but U.S. News reports that it is unlikely that the House will try to attach any amendments to the bill in order to meet a March 27 deadline.